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Thread: Kinship Themes

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  1. #1
    Ramen's Avatar
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    Exclamation Kinship Themes

    Greetings! We’ve noticed a frequently occurring topic with Kinship themes in the LOTRO community, and wanted to take a moment to clarify our overall policy on this issue.


    In-Game Policy
    As per section 6 of our End User License Agreement (http://lotro.turbine.com/article/312):

    Content created by you must not: (a) infringe any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or other proprietary right of any person or entity; (b) be profane, obscene, indecent or violate any law or regulation; (c) defame, abuse, harass, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others; (d) incite discrimination, hate or violence towards one person or a group because of their race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender, or insult the victims of crimes against humanity by contesting the existence of those crimes…
    What does this mean for Kinships created with a theme that fits one of the above categories? Well, first, it does not violate the rules of this agreement to create such a Kinship. However, such a Kinship must understand that they cannot refuse entry into their ranks based solely on their chosen theme, because that would actually be another form of discrimination (i.e., a religiously-themed kinship cannot deny participation by another player purely because that player is not of that religion; the same applies for race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender).

    What about recruitment for such a Kinship in open chat? Players ARE allowed to make such a recruitment offer in chat. For example, “X Kinship invites you to join our Kinship, please send me a tell for more information.” You may not say, “X Kinship invites you to join our Kinship. You must be X, all others need not apply,” where X is a theme that falls into any of the aforementioned categories. Other players should not then engage in discussions on topic X just because a Kinship of that theme made a recruitment invitation in /ooc. Harassment surrounding such an offer will also be handled accordingly. Also, as per section 13 of the EULA, you may not create anti-X Kinships:

    You may not form or participate in groups whose ideology is based upon or resembles anti-religious, anti-ethnic, anti-sexual orientation, nationalistic, racist or sexist philosophies.
    Forum Policy
    Our policy on the official forums mirrors our in-game policy. Players may post recruitment threads for themed Kinships as discussed above, but should refrain from discussions on those themes. As per our Forum Guidelines (http://forums.lotro.com/announcement.php?f=3&a=1):

    12. Discussion of religious or political topics is prohibited on the Forums.

    17. Users must not violate, or promote the violation of, Turbine’s terms of service, codes of conduct or end user license agreements.
    We hope the above clarifications will help our community understand the rules and reasoning behind both in-game GM and forum moderation enforcement decisions on this topic. These policies are not arbitrary, and are put in place to ensure the most fair and enjoyable gaming environment possible for you, our collective community.

    Thank you for your cooperation! If you have questions, please post them below.

  2. #2
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    So 'age' is not on your 'no descrimination' list?

    Seems odd.

  3. #3
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Ulrek View Post
    So 'age' is not on your 'no descrimination' list?

    Seems odd.
    The game itself does so with the Teen Rating.

    Age discrimination is everywhere, from Senor Citizen Discounts to "Children under 5 eat free!"

    Sometimes it's in your favor, sometimes it's not.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Race, of course, only refers to real-life player's race, right? You can legally have all-dwarf Kinships and the like, right?

  5. #5

    Re: Kinship Themes

    Nicely explained Ramen, thank you.

    In light of this I'd like to offer a word of caution to members and recruiters from Christian-themed kinships ( I also am a member of one such kinship):

    - Please be very careful NOT to include being a Christian as a requirement of membership for this would be considered discrimination based-on religious affiliation.

    - Please DO be sure to let any prospective members know that they WILL encounter much discussion within the kinship chat and/or amongst the members in support of the shared Christian theme. If this is going to bother them during their in-game playtime, they may want to consider another kinship.

    -Please DO be sure to let any prospective members know that profanity, lewd speech, inappropriate behavior and bashing or defaming of the shared Christian theme and its associated sacred values and terms (God, Jesus Christ, prayer, the Bible, the Cross, etc) will NOT be tolerated and will be grounds for dismissal from the kinship.

    I think by using these techniques we who enjoy participation in Christian-themed kinships can keep membership open to all and yet have the administrative freedom to be able to keep out folks who only want to join a kinship to start trouble from within.
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  6. #6

    Re: Kinship Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsion View Post

    -Please DO be sure to let any prospective members know that profanity, lewd speech, inappropriate behavior and bashing or defaming of the shared Christian theme and its associated sacred values and terms (God, Jesus Christ, prayer, the Bible, the Cross, etc) will NOT be tolerated and will be grounds for dismissal from the kinship.
    I'm not sure you can get away with this actually, in part it depends on whether expression of dissent gets counted as defaming. You couldn't boot someone for say "I believe in Allah, not Christ", for example, any more than you could boot them for saying they were of a particular race. Even if they say it loudly and often, dismissing them for it would be religious discrimination and prohibited by the EULA. I doubt you could even get away with booting them for trashing the bible pretty severely, as long as the weren't using vulgarity or making fun of Christians. You can't dismiss them for the mere expression of beliefs regarding religious topics.

    Bottom line is that if members are allowed to "bash and defame" other religions, agnosticism, or atheism, then members cannot be dismissed for "bashing and defaming" the "Christian theme and its associated sacred values and terms."

    In short, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

  7. #7
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    My impression is that kinships and fellowships are completely voluntary. You can kick anyone you want for any reason.

    I believe the "rule," though, is just that you can't advertise a kinship that only accepts people that are <whatever> or accepts everyone except those that are <whatever>, where <whatever> refers to the things already listed out too many times: race, religion, ethnicity, whatever.

    Kind of a non issue still, though. If someone actually felt they were kicked on unjust grounds, why would they want to be in such a group in the first place?
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  8. #8

    Question Re: Kinship Themes

    On a more general note, if I'm looking for a Kinship by theme, (i.e Christian, Hobbit, U.S West Coast, etc.) is there a way I can do that?

  9. #9

    Re: Kinship Themes

    Discussion of Religion and/or Politics is against the forums ToS - See the first post?
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    WAIT!.........................
    .............................. ...
    .............................. ...


    .............................. ...
    .............................. ...
    .............................. ...


    I can say no when it comes to recruiting?



    /sarcasm off.
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sargo-DotN View Post
    Discussion of Religion and/or Politics is against the forums ToS - See the first post?
    It is illegal to not allow a RELIGION to discuss their religion and or religious views and beliefs.

    However it is legal to not allow a RELIGION to force their beliefs and views on others. key word FORCE.

    Open discussion of religion is allowed under EULA and therefore is legal regardless of what TOS says.

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    Re: Kinship Themes

    I know that this is the world we live in today and Turbine is just flowing with the tide, but this is such nonsense. Why in the world should a kinship not be able to restrict its membership based on ANY category they chose? For Eru's sake, we have IN GAME, race-restricted kinship charters! Yet if I wanted to (and of course I do not want to) make a kinship of players based on their shared real-life race, I would be bounced off the server faster than you can say "Don Imus".
    At least we know for sure now that Turbine's lawyers aren't any braver than most other spineless politically correct corporate lackeys anywhere else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramen
    ...they cannot refuse entry into their ranks based solely on their chosen theme...
    For practical purposes (based on Ramen's own language here), if you want to set up a restrictive kinship, feel free to deny membership to someone on that basis, just make sure to tell them that the real reason is because you don't like the color leggings they wear. At least that gives you a "legal" excuse.
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Seems clearer now. I still have one grey spot.

    Can I have a "French Kinship" and asking that only french people may join it?

    I'm not sure if it falls in nationality, ethnicity discrimination or it's just considered a communication issue.

    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Might want to say "french speaking only kinship rather than just "french only." The latter refers to the nationality thing they are speaking of while the first is just a language barrier thing that is probably understandable... Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by madscientist254 View Post
    Might want to say "french speaking only kinship rather than just "french only." The latter refers to the nationality thing they are speaking of while the first is just a language barrier thing that is probably understandable... Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
    Technically, a player who does not speak French can demand entry into a French-speaking kinship, but its entirely possible that their request would not be understood.

    As with any such forcing of rights, there is typically an alterior motive (griefing) that will very quickly provide all the grounds necessary to deny entry or remove someone from your kinship. The only stipulation here is that you cannot, as per the EULA that everyone agreed to upon subscribing to LOTRO, deny entry to your group based solely on race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.
    Last edited by Ramen; May 01 2007 at 05:51 PM.

  16. #16
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by gildhur View Post
    I know that this is the world we live in today and Turbine is just flowing with the tide, but this is such nonsense.
    You are entitled to your opinion on that of course. All we are doing here is making clear the terms of the EULA that all players have agreed to abide by.

    Rules are rules.

  17. #17

    Re: Kinship Themes

    of course using the hobbit only example. anyone could make a female char to get into a female only kinship. or make a dark skinned char to get into a kin themed on dark skinned dwarves. Its not discriminating against the real persons race/gender. But id think it would still be considered a "bad thing" to do because it could be easilly misunderstood.

  18. #18

    Re: Kinship Themes

    Ok, what if you wanted to start a kinship that didn't allow illegal aliens? Would that fall under the nationality restriction, since you're only allowing people of your nation in?

    If that's so, what if you expanded it so that people from other countries are allowed in, but only if they are living in the country with which they are considered a citizen? Does that still fall under the nationality restriction?

    Ok, so if the above is true, what if we made contact with an alien race tomorrow, could we keep them out, if the alien race wasn't humanoid? Can we restrict based on species? I mean they could be jerks, you know, and not fun to play with.

    /sarcasm off

    Just messing around, trying to poke holes in the EULA, and the protests today happened to be the last article I read before coming here.

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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruiserk View Post
    Ok, what if you wanted to start a kinship that didn't allow illegal aliens? Would that fall under the nationality restriction, since you're only allowing people of your nation in?
    I know you're not serious, but "illegal" is not a nation.

  20. #20

    Re: Kinship Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruiserk View Post
    Ok, what if you wanted to start a kinship that didn't allow illegal aliens? Would that fall under the nationality restriction, since you're only allowing people of your nation in?
    This is the first of many holes in your - and the entire 'open border' crowd's argument. The keyword is legality versus illegality, not alien versus citizen. An anti-illegal alien rule is not an anti alien rule. Let's agree to not discuss this further, as it would violate the forum rules of not discussing politics.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bruiserk View Post
    If that's so, what if you ... people from other countries are allowed in, but only if they are living in the country...
    I see no reasonable excuse for making one's RL immigration status a requirement, or disqualification, for membership in an IG organization as such status in no way affects said IG organization.

    Building on the example set forth by various replies above: If I run a Christian themed kinship and a Satanist, Wiccan, Atheist, or other 'non-Christian' wants to join, having them in the kinship poses no threat unless they act in a manner which is disrespectful to Christians.

    And yes, I do practice what I preach. I am a self-professed homophobe (though it has nothing to do with the kinship theme) and yet our kinship has openly gay/lesbian members. I can, and often do speak in Kinchat about my fiance; therefore, I have no problem with a homosexual in OAK speaking about their partner. Just so long as they dont say anything hateful about straight people, it is none of my business - nor anyone else's - what goes on outside of Middle Earth.
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sevok View Post
    Race, of course, only refers to real-life player's race, right? You can legally have all-dwarf Kinships and the like, right?
    Yes, we are ok with "Hobbit-only" kinships, for example, because ANYONE can create a Hobbit. You are not excluding any player.

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    Re: Kinship Themes

    Hi, Baruk Kazahd (Strictly a PVE kinship) is recruiting mature and active members right now... we have a ventrilo server up and running at al times... friendly group of ppl to play with and a great website where all the updates of the game and the kinship is posted... the leaders of this kinship have been guild leaders of some of the top guilds on world of warcraft so u should know that ur in good hands... if u would like to apply to play in this kinship please go ingame on NIMRODEL server and contact one of the leads.

    Kinship Lord: Trinista
    MightyMidget
    Zerina

    Second in command: Dragonhert

    Officers: CactusJack
    Durgrin
    Thoromur
    Thunderhammer
    Thurathelion

    the kinship website URL is www.barukkazahd.com
    Please register on the forums (mandatory)

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    Re: Kinship Themes

    *****bump*****
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  24. #24

    Re: Kinship Themes

    I have agreed to the EULA and will abide by it. However I can't let this pass without comment.

    I realize that Turbine is just trying to keep the peace with these rules but it is still absurd. If people want to have a kinship of one legged, black, Jewish people who follow Hinduism and only invite such people to the kinship, what does it matter? Is it somehow holier to make the criteria just "well we just don't like you" and deny membership based upon that?

    People of all walks of life feel more comfortable with others who are similar, whether or not this is a cultural, religious, or other similarity. That is why they congregate together. If someone wants to have a Jewish kinship and only invite orthodox Jews for example, how does this hurt anyone? Inside of their kinship they then know that they have this in common and don't have to feel the need to tiptoe around others who are not Jewish so as not to offend or even feel the need to explain Hebrew catch phases to the newbie. (Are there Hebrew catch phrases? Still you get the point.)

    It seems to me that the rules governing free speech are taken to an extreme in this case. I think most people understand why profanity is filtered by default, and that Turbine is not going to let a kinship called, "Nazi White Power Racists" exist on their servers. This offends the majority of people in the world. Majority rules. But that different than saying you can't deny membership based upon a kinship theme. You know what? An atheist who is allowed to join a Christian themed kinship and becomes offended, joined that kinship specifically to get offended and cause trouble. If I don't speak German or live in Germany, I know that a German kinship is not going to work out for me. Why should they be forced to allow me in if they know that the point of the kinship would be lost on an English speaking person from the USA? Why should their right to be selective about their membership be curtailed simply for some sophomoric idealism that states I should be MADE to fit in, despite the theme.

    Yes this is a small issue and no I won't have any problems following the guidelines laid out by Turbine. But it should be noted that Turbine's efforts to go to such lengths to not offend anyone has failed. I am offended. Online gaming is my way of letting off steam after a hard day in a politically correct corporate environment. I don't like the fact that I have to worry about who might be offended in a virtual world.

  25. #25
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    Re: Kinship Themes

    This thread serves as a good reminder to people's obliviousness in much of what they say.

    It's much simpler than you discuss; it's simply that openly saying you don't want X in your kinship is strongly implying that X is bad. But it's a fundamental rule for respect towards your fellow human beings that things falling into category X (go back some pages if you missed the examples) do NOT make people desirable or undesirable.

    There's also the simple fact that you're discriminating based on a real-life demographic that you're rather powerless to actually verify - the very verification of which would not be proper.

    It's not in who you deem worthy. You can decide to exclude any group you feel like. Just keep the reason to yourself if it's based on bigotry lest you insult a massive chunk of the planet's population by a statement you intend to throw at a single individual.
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